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23 Days

Join us on this three-week Small Group Tour for an adventure like no other. Experience the breath-taking scenery of snow-capped Alps, wander through lush native forests and relax on wide sandy beaches. Learn how this beautiful land has been shaped by ancient volcanoes and southern seas, by Maori warriors and colonial settlers. Friendly local guides will share their cultural, historical and ecological expertise as you travel throughout Aotearoa – ‘the land of the long white cloud.

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Day 1 - Auckland

M Social Hotel, Auckland

Haere mai – welcome! Arrive into Auckland and take some time to orientate yourself and explore the ‘City of Sails’.

Day 2 - Auckland to Bay of Islands

Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell


Heading north we first visit the Reed Memorial Park to marvel at a remnant of the ancient kauri forest from an elevated walkway. After taking in the picturesque Whangarei Falls we continue to the Bay of Islands, where we are welcomed to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Here we learn the fascinating story of the birthplace of the nation, see the magnificent meeting house, the interactive and contemporary museum and the war canoe (waka). We arrive in historic Russell, our base for the next two nights, by ferry.

Day 3 - Bay of Islands

Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell


Today you have the choice of two excursions:

a) Discover the Far North of New Zealand

Travel by special coach along 90 Mile Beach to Cape Reinga, the very tip of New Zealand. This full day tour includes a visit to the ancient Puketi Kauri forest and lunch.

b) Enjoy a Hole in the Rock cruise

On the way to the Cape Brett Lighthouse, now hold your breath as the skipper skilfully navigates through the famous Hole in the Rock and into Grand Cathedral Cave (conditions permitting). Return to Russell to meet a local guide for an insight into this historic town’s rip-roaring past!

Day 4 - Bay of Islands to Auckland

M Social Hotel, Auckland


We return to Auckland to discover its vibrant harbourside, panoramic views, waterfront drives and charming villages before a guided tour of the Auckland Museum.

Day 5 - Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

Oceans Resort, Whitianga


We take to the water for a cruise across the Hauraki Gulf to the Coromandel Peninsula. At Driving Creek we enjoy a narrow-gauge railway trip before our coach drives us to the beautiful Mercury Bay.

Day 6 - Coromandel Peninsula

Oceans Resort, Whitianga


At Hot Water Beach, where warm springs bubble up through the sand, you can dig your very own ‘spa’ pool when the tide is right. Walk down into photogenic Cathedral Cove and depart by water taxi back to Hahei where your driver will be waiting to take you to Cooks Beach where the HMS Endeavour arrived in 1769.

From Cooks Beach you can choose to catch the short ferry ride back to Whitianga and walk to your accommodation – OR - travel back with your driver.

Day 7 - Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua


We travel through several beachside towns before turning inland. A short bushwalk provides scenic lookouts and a chance to stretch your legs before arriving in Rotorua; the epicentre not only of New Zealand’s geothermal activity but of Maori heritage. Our private tour of Te Puia takes in its active geothermal sites, kiwi conservation and a range of indigenous arts and crafts.

Day 8 - Rotorua

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua


Today you have the choice of two excursions:

a) Visit the Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Site of the eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886. Explore this ever-changing landscape on foot and by boat.

b) Experience the real Middle-earth

Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set for a guided tour of The Shire that featured in Peter Jackson’s films, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit film series.

Back in Rotorua this evening our whole group will travel to a traditional Maori village and experience an amazing welcome, a cultural performance, and a Hangi feast.

Day 9 - Rotorua to Napier

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier


Visit the powerful Huka Falls and the vast Lake Taupo before heading east to Hawke’s Bay. A guided walking tour of Napier explores one of the world’s most complete examples of Art Deco architecture. Today’s journey has brought us to the North Island’s wine country, so this evening’s treat is dinner at New Zealand’s oldest winery, Mission Estate.

Day 10 - Napier to Wellington

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington


We travel through the vineyards and orchards of Hawke’s Bay onto rural Wairarapa and then into New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. From the Kelburn lookout take the Wellington Cable Car down into the central city before visiting Te Papa – New Zealand’s innovative and interactive national museum.

Day 11 - Wellington to Nelson

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


Today starts with one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world; travelling through the Cook Strait to the South Island. In Marlborough we pause for wine tasting at one of the area’s premier wineries before crossing to sunny Nelson, our base for the next two nights.

Day 12 - Abel Tasman National Park

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


This morning from Kaiteriteri, your tour includes a choice of one activity from these three options:

a) 3-4 hour Scenic Cruise (No walking)

A morning cruise reveals the golden sands and turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park. Enjoy time at leisure in Kaiteriteri and return to Nelson on the late afternoon transfer.

b) Walking Option 1: Astrolabe Beaches and Bays (7km, 2.5 hour walk)

After the scenic cruise, disembark at Apple Tree Bay for a selfguided walk to fabulous Anchorage Beach. Late afternoon transfer back to Nelson.

c) Walking Option 2: Forest and Swing-Bridge (10.5km, 4 hour walk)

After the scenic cruise, disembark at Medlands Beach for a self-guided walk that includes the scenic highlights of the South Head lookout, the famous Falls River swing-bridge and Cleopatra’s Pool.

Late afternoon transfer back to Nelson.

Day 13 - Nelson to Punakaiki

Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki


We travel through enchanting Nelson Lakes National Park and follow the Buller River Gorge - one of the world’s best but least-known scenic drives. Emerging from the forest at Punakaiki - renowned for its wild, rugged coastline and the famous ‘Pancake Rocks’.

Day 14 - Punakaiki to Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier


Journeying south along the Great Coast Road we pause in Hokitika township, where the galleries specialise in pounamu (greenstone). Stretch your legs at the dramatic Hokitika Gorge before continuing south to glacier country. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers flow from vast snowfields high in the Southern Alps, down almost to sea level. Weather permitting, an optional helicopter ride is a terrific way to experience the sheer grandeur of the glaciers (extra cost).

Day 15 - Fox Glacier to Wanaka

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka


After a photo opportunity at mirror-like Lake Matheson we head over the Haast Pass deep into Mt. Aspiring National Park to the pretty lakeside resort town of Wanaka.

Day 16 - Wanaka

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka


This morning you have the choice of two excursions:

a) Take a lake cruise to a conservation island

Join a local eco-guide to discover rare native birds, island walks and stunning landscape views.

b) Experience a scenic 4WD adventure

Explore remote High Country farmland.

This afternoon is at your leisure to relax or enjoy your own choice of activities.

Day 17 - Wanaka to Te Anau

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau


Our first stop today is the much photographed Cardrona Pub, we then visit historic Arrowtown – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. We continue our journey along the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu through glacial formed valleys to Lake Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Day 18 - Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown


The journey to Milford Sound is one of the most scenic experiences you can have on four wheels! Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound is breath-taking in any weather. We board a comfortable vessel for a cruise past Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea.

Enjoy your picnic lunch while watching for seals and dolphins which are often seen in the waters of the fiord. We end our day in Queenstown.

Day 19 - Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown


Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of Queenstown create the perfect backdrop for a visit full of adventure, exploration or relaxation.

Today is free for you to do your own thing and the options are endless!

Day 20 - Queenstown to Mt. Cook to Twizel

Mackenzie Country Hotel, Twizel


We pass pretty Lake Dunstan before we cross Central Otago countryside to the Lindis Pass. Descending into the Mackenzie Basin the Southern Alps dominate the horizon. We drive along Lake Pukaki to Mt. Cook Village, home to New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then overnight in the small town of Twizel.

Day 21 - Twizel to Rural Canterbury



Visit a local home set on the shores of Lake Tekapo and learn the secrets of making a Pavlova - a truly Kiwi dessert! Enjoy your pavlova and morning tea as you drink in the views of this beautiful lake. View the Church of the Good Shepherd, one of New Zealand’s most-photographed spots: a tiny church set against a majestic backdrop of the Southern Alps, before travelling through the Canterbury Plains to Ashburton.

Accommodation options:

a) Rural homestay

Local hosts open their homes to travellers offering a delicious home-cooked dinner before a cosy night’s stay in a family home.

b) Local hotel

Spend the night in a local hotel enjoying dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 22 - Ashburton to Christchurch

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch


We cross the fertile Canterbury Plains to our last destination, Christchurch. Post-earthquake the city mixes colonial charm with modern architecture, re-inventing itself in typical Kiwi style. Edwardian styled boatmen take you for a relaxing cruise along the River Avon before we enjoy a journey onboard a beautifully restored heritage tram through the changing face of Christchurch’s city centre. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 23 - Depart Christchurch

Haere ra – farewell from New Zealand. You are transferred to the Christchurch Airport for your return home. Alternatively, should you wish to extend your stay, we can assist you with additional travel arrangements

Kauri Featured Experiences
  • Entry to Waitangi Treaty Grounds

  • Journey along 90 Mile Beach – or – take a Hole in the Rock cruise

  • A scenic cruise from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula

  • Narrow-gauge railway journey through native Coromandel bush

  • Visit Hot Water Beach and photogenic Cathedral Cove

  • A private guide and tour around an active geothermal site

  • Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley – or – experience Hobbiton Movie Set

  • Delve into Maori life and enjoy a powerful cultural performance and feast

  • Enjoy an evening meal at Mission Estate in Napier

  • Travel on Wellington’s famous Cable Car and visit Te Papa museum

  • Scenic Interislander Ferry journey across the Cook Strait

  • Wine tasting at one of Marlborough’s premier wineries

  • Cruise the turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park

  • Visit world-famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes of Punakaiki

  • Cruise to a conservation island - or - join a scenic 4WD adventure

  • Explore the historic gold rush village of Arrowtown

  • Cruise, with a picnic lunch, on the breathtaking Milford Sound

  • Enjoy true kiwi hospitality with morning tea at a local home on the shores of Lake Tekapo

  • Relax as you're guided along Christchurch's Avon River on an authentic Edwardian punt

Our Small Group Tours are perfect for those seeking a truly unique New Zealand holiday experience

Your overnight stays are an important way of experiencing the character of your destination so we carefully hand-pick our accommodations, choosing one-of-a-kind hotels or unique properties that are expressions of the region or have a particular vibe or attraction of their own.

Please note that occasionally we need to substitute accommodation to that of a similar standard, based on availability.
Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell

The Duke of Marlborough began its life in 1827 as “Johnny Johnston’s Grog Shop” and was one of the first land sales to a European in New Zealand. In the 1930s Johnny changed the name of his hotel to the Duke of Marlborough, as at the time the Duke of Marlborough was the world’s richest man, so the name sought to bring respect, elegance and opulence to the “Hell Hole of the Pacific”.

M Social Hotel, Auckland

M Social Hotel is a unique contemporary hotel, appealing to the curious, the explorers and those who thrive on new experiences. It offers form and function in a casual setting, featuring spaces that are designed to be flexible to guest's needs. The hotel overlooks the vibrant Princes Wharf and is close to a stunning array of dining, entertainment and shopping experiences.

Oceans Resort, Whitianga

Nestled on the western shore of the beautiful Mercury Bay and only a stone’s throw from the golden sands of Buffalo Beach, you will find the relaxed luxury Whitianga Apartments of Oceans Resort in the heart of popular Whitianga. The resort is only a short stroll to the ferry and the picturesque marina or wander through the town centre where you will find an abundance of cafés, restaurants and bars, and boutique stores. Please note these are self-contained apartments and there is no restaurant onsite.

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua

This boutique property is a prominent showpiece in the heart of Rotorua. Originally built in the gold mining town of Waihi, in 1917 nail by nail and board by board, the hotel was dismantled and transferred by horse-drawn wagon to the Waihi Railway Station and the timber and fittings were duly taken by rail to Rotorua. It is now sited opposite the entrance to the stunning Government Gardens. A visit to the Princes Gate Hotel is an exciting escape back in time.

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier

The hotel enjoys a premium waterfront location on Napier’s Marine Parade and is a short stroll from the main art deco style street. Styled to complement its remarkable location the hotel boasts design awards and is perfectly sited to enjoy the famous sunrises of the Hawke’s Bay - one of the first places in the world to see the light each day.

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

Located in the heart of Wellington this hotel is minutes from popular landmarks and activities such as the Cable Car, Parliament buildings, and Lambton Quay’s shopping district. A perfect balance between elegance and comfort, the hotel has two renowned restaurants, bars, a day spa and fitness room – so all your comforts and needs should be covered!

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Situated in Trafalgar Square, Nelson, the hotel boasts a prime spot only minutes walk from Nelson’s landmark cathedral and main shopping district (including, just a block away, Jens Hansen Goldsmiths; creators of the ring in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy). If you choose not to venture out, the hotel has two highly regarded restaurants onsite, plus a sauna, gym and outdoor pool to work up your appetite!

Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

Just two minutes’ walk from the beach, this comfortable and environmentally friendly hotel in Paparoa National Park is only 300 metres from the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The limestone stacks have been sculptured by the weather and sea leaving unique stacks resembling pancakes layered on top of each other!

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier is situated in one of the world’s most ruggedly beautiful environments - nestled beneath the towering Southern Alps on the stunning West Coast of New Zealand. The hotel’s location provides a real sense of privacy and peaceful seclusion, while being only a short stroll to the charming Fox Glacier village.

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

The hotel is in a fantastic location, just a short walk from town, and directly on the shores of the beautiful Lake Wanaka. The hotel enjoys amazing views of the lake’s clear blue waters and with the backdrop of the Mt. Aspiring National Park it’s no surprise the area is a focal point for keen photographers.

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau

Te Anau is a charming South Island town based on the eastern side of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Te Anau and just a short stroll from the glacially formed lake. The hotel has two on-site restaurants for you to choose from, their eateries and bars are a popular choice with both visitors and locals alike.

Scenic Suites, Queenstown

This inspiring resort town at the foot of the Southern Alps attracts those looking for an unforgettable trip. The Scenic Suites provides one of the most sought-after locations for Queenstown hotels. The hotel’s elevated position gives fantastic views of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake, carved from a glacier more than 15,000 years ago.

Mackenzie Country Hotel, Twizel

Built in 1968 as a service town for the hydro-electric power scheme, Twizel was meant to be a temporary town. However, the workers grew to love their little town, and as the project was winding up in the early 1980s they successfully fought to save Twizel. The Mackenzie Country Hotel is a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy your time in Twizel.


Take your pick:

a) Rural homestay: Here you are met in small groups by your hosts who will extend their hospitality to you to with a tour of the property, perhaps a visit with the animals, and a delicious home-cooked dinner before a cosy night’s stay in a local home

b) Local hotel: spend the night in a local hotel enjoying dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch

An urban escape that combines sophisticated smarts and familiar warmth, the hotel is ideally positioned in the heart of the city only a few minutes’ walk from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and future Christchurch Convention Centre. The renovated hotel stands proud amongst the buzz of the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square.

What is the size of New Zealand?

New Zealand is 266,200 square kilometres - similar in size to Great Britain or Japan, but unlike these countries New Zealand has a population of less than 5 million. The country comprises of two main islands; the North Island (Te Ika-a-Maui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu).

Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?

All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date they intend to leave the country. Some visitors must have an Electronic Travel Authority and pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy before travelling to New Zealand. For more information about visas and visitor regulations, visit www.immigration.govt.nz.

When is the best time to come to New Zealand?

New Zealand really is an all-year round destination as it enjoys a mild climate ranging from temperate areas at the bottom of the South Island to sub-tropical regions in the upper North Island. We have designed our Small Group Tours around the most popular times to visit, through spring, summer and autumn.

What is the typical age group of the people that travel on your tours?

Our Small Group Tours appeal to a broad range of ages but typically our clients are in the 50+ age group.

Luggage Allowance

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Due to limited storage capacity in the smaller vehicles used for these tours, each case should have dimensions not exceeding 30” x 18” x 10” (76x46x25cm) and 62 linear inches (157cm) and weight not exceeding 50lbs (23kg). Please note that some airlines restrict checked luggage allowance – please check this with your airline. Carry-on/hand luggage is restricted to one piece per person, not exceeding 12” x 11” x 6” (30x28x14cm) in order to fit under your coach seat. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and must be taken on and off the motorcoach by you each day of the trip. Please note that carry-ons with telescopic handles and wheels will not fit under seats and therefore cannot be accepted as carry-on luggage for safety reasons.

What sort of clothing should I bring with me?

When on tour in New Zealand dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Do I need any vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required for entry into New Zealand.

What currency should I bring with me?

The official currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD$). Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks which are found at international airports and in most city centres. All major credit card can be used in New Zealand, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely. ATM ’s are generally available in all except the most rural areas.

Can I use my mobile phone in New Zealand?

Many international mobile phones will work in New Zealand although higher rates can often apply, please check with your phone/network provider before leaving home to confirm. Alternatively, prepaid SIM cards are available to purchase when you arrive in New Zealand. Mobile coverage is extensive across most of the country but not available in some remote and rural areas.

Is tipping expected?

Tipping is not obligatory or expected in New Zealand but if you choose to reward a job well done it is always greatly appreciated.

What are the legislations around smoking?

It is now illegal to smoke indoors in workplaces and hospitality venues including restaurants, bars, cafes, casinos and hotel lobbies. If you wish to smoke, you will need to smoke outdoors.

Does New Zealand have any dangerous animals?

New Zealand does not have any poisonous snakes, dangerous animals and only one poisonous spider – the Katipo which is very rare and only found in certain coastal areas and Katipo bites are rare. If travelling to Fiordland, insect repellent is strongly recommended as the sand-flies are large and determined!

Do I need travel Insurance?

While New Zealand’s medical facilities, both private and public, provide a high standard of treatment and care, it is strongly recommended that all travellers hold comprehensive travel insurance (including full medical, cancellation and repatriation) before departing their home country. Visitors to New Zealand are covered for subsidised treatment for personal injury caused by accident under the Government-run ACC scheme. However ACC does not cover any medical treatment relating to illness. Visitors should have their own medical insurance cover.

Departure Date Price Single Supplement Availability
Wed 22 Apr 2020 $8,460 USD $2,780 USD Tour Unavailable
Wed 20 May 2020 $7,350 USD $2,480 USD Tour Unavailable
Wed 14 Oct 2020 $8,825 USD $2,875 USD Available
Wed 18 Nov 2020 $8,825 USD $2,875 USD Available
Mon 18 Jan 2021 $9,380 USD $3,040 USD Available
Sun 07 Feb 2021 $9,380 USD $3,040 USD Available
Wed 10 Mar 2021 $9,380 USD $3,040 USD Available
Wed 14 Apr 2021 $8,825 USD $2,875 USD Available
Wed 19 May 2021 $7,350 USD $2,480 USD Available
Wed 13 Oct 2021 $9,100 USD $2,960 USD Available
Wed 24 Nov 2021 $9,100 USD $2,960 USD Available
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